Side Effects

Side effects, both physical and emotional, are an unfortunate reality for cancer patients. It’s important to understand what side effects are expected and how best to manage them to avoid interruptions in treatment, which can impact overall outcomes.

Side effects often arise because some of the most common types of treatment, chemotherapy and radiation, do not distinguish between cancer cells and healthy cells. As a result, normal cells like blood cells and those lining the mouth and GI tract can be damaged and result in unwelcomed side effects. 

Fortunately, there are available treatments to help address side effects of treatment. You should record and discuss your side effects with your health care team so they can be treated and controlled when possible. Some of the most common side effects are listed below, but as with your unique cancer and treatment, side effects will often vary from patient to patient. For more information or support regarding common side effects, you may visit the American Cancer Society or other recommended resources.

Common side effects:

  • Pain
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Lymphedema
  • Infections
  • Infertility
  • Sexual Side Effects